The body produces natural painkillers, the most effective of which is a group called endorphins and enkephalins. These powerful analgesics are produced when the body is in severe pain or has undergone trauma, but can also be produced through heavy muscular exercise. These hormones also carry a sense of euphoria. ‘Man-made’ opiates have a very strong resemblance to the body’s natural opiates and therefore tend to be handled well by the body. Unfortunately, opiates are addictive and are usually prescribed only in very severe pain for short periods or for pain created by terminal disease where addiction does not matter.

The euphoric affect of opiates is well established but less well documented is morphine’s effect on willpower. Very often opiates are used in terminal diseases and I have found that the conscious willpower to fight the battle diminishes, as well as a subconscious willpower that I think is very necessary in the fight against disease. It is almost as if the subconscious or the soul shrugs its shoulders and says ‘well this is not too bad, why bother fighting’.

Opiates should only be considered when all other orthodox and complementary medical options have been exhausted.